What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them?
What have you been playing lately? Discussion about video games and board games are both welcome. Please don't just make a list of titles, give some thoughts about the game(s) as well.
I started playing Raft last night. It's a survival game where you start off on a small raft in the middle of the ocean with only a small grappling hook. You use the hook to pull debris and trash to you as your raft floats around the ocean. Using that stuff you can build up a little existence on your raft. There's a nice crafting system for building survival items, tools, weapons, ways to navigate your raft, etc.
The main threat in the game is this shark that follows you and attacks your raft every couple of minutes, potentially destroying parts of it. Having to hit it with a spear every couple of minutes isn't very fun though at all, so I used a mod to remove him. Which is probably offensive to serious Raft players, but there was no survival mode without the shark and the shark mostly just kept me from enjoying everything else the game has to offer.
Raft is fun! I was surprised at the depth of the game. It's so simple, but there's a lot you can do. It's especially fun to play with a couple friends.
If you have some people to play with, I would highly recommend getting them in on your raft and turning the shark back on! It adds a little extra tension to the game and with friends, if you die, they can just grab your stuff. It's way more manageable to fend him off with at least 2 other people, and I can see it being insanely aggravating to do that all yourself. It's also hilarious hearing your friends freak out when they accidentally fall in the water.
Picked up Dorfromantik, and it's a fantastic title.
It's very zen free-form puzzle game. Actually lost sleep because I lost track of time, doing the 'just one more thing' loop.
If you enjoy Dorfromantik you should consider checking out ISLANDERS too. It's a tiny bit more complex, but has a very similar vibe to it. It's really relaxing too, and at the end of each "level" you get a similar satisfied feeling seeing your completed cities. E.g. Some of mine. It's even one of the few games I have played in creative mode too, since I enjoyed designing the cities so much
Tunic. If anyone out there has nostalgia for Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, enjoys Dark Souls style combat, and enjoys deep puzzle systems, please play Tunic. I don't want to spoil it, but I am loving it so much. It's the first game since The Witness where I felt my brain all of a sudden opening up and recontextualizing what came before it to change my whole understanding of the situation. It's absolutely worth playing, and includes an "invincibility mode" if you want to experience the world without needing to engage with the combat.
If you're enjoying Tunic, and because I noticed you didn't mention this one, check out FEZ. It has a very similar approach to the world/puzzles as Tunic, and one of Tunic's puzzles is a direct homage to FEZ too.
I enjoyed FEZ very much, until about 95% of the way into the very deep puzzles it became more of an ARG where you needed out of game knowledge and information to solve. That killed it for me. I still think bitterly about FEZ from time to time, mostly forgetting the fun bits that came before the end. I can see how some people would appreciate the jump from the self-contained to the larger real world, but I threw myself against those puzzles for hours. When I broke down and searched for answers, I was really angry that there was no way to have solved it with anything I did in game.
I originally played this when it came out, but made the mistake then of playing in Ironman mode, losing several hours of progress after being killed by Inuit war canoes. Since then, I've been thinking about giving it another try, and finally did this Easter when I was away from home (and thus away from my Xbox and desktop).
It's a neat little game about killing whales for profit. It also functions as an unofficial sequel to the book Moby Dick (and thus probably contains a lot of spoilers for the book, so make sure to read the book first if you're worried about spoilers). I haven't read the book myself, and occasionally got the feeling I should have known who these characters and what these events are, but it was very enjoyable regardless.
Combat is an important part of the game, mostly against whales, but sometimes against humans (and inuit war canoes). Characters roll dice of different types (damage, healing, manouvering, support), while enemies draw cards with special abilities. Each whaleboat carries three characters, but can only perform a single action each round, so you often have to make a choice between two or three available actions. It plays very much like a board game, which I don't mind.
The main motivation through much of the game is earning money to afford a larger ship which can carry more whaleboats. Once you get the best ship, there's not really much use for money, so I just grinded enough prestige to be able to hire a good enough crew to go up against the final boss.
After I finished the main quest I bought and played the Masters of the Seven Seans DLC. It includes a "challenge mode", where you can free-roam around the map hunting whales and completing quests in competition with 9 other captains. The map is expanded to include the whole world, with a few more ports added, and it adds a few side quests and a bunch of new events. I'm not actually sure if you can play the main quest with these new features, or if they are only available in challenge mode. The issue of not really having a need for money after buying the best ship feels an order of magnitude more serious when there's no end-game goal other than reaching a pre-determined end date. I naively set the game length to 50 years, and had the best ship in less than 4.
I've recently picked up Across the Obelisk. It's not fully released yet, but there's a ton of content.
I'm not sure what I think about the meta-progression. I'm not the type of person who plays enough to see what the higher difficulties are like, but at least for a casual player like myself it's a fun deck-builder that's got a lot going for it.
I'm not good enough to say anything on the balance of different characters or builds. I've just had to choose one type of build on each character to try to figure one thing out. So far that's a lot of fun. There's a huge amount of variety in the strategies it seems. Again, I can't say how many are viable when you get more and more restrictions upping difficulties.
I finished the current No Man's Sky expedition. I think I'm done with it for a while, that felt like an entire game on its own and took me thirty hours, but if I go back, which may be soon anyway, I better know how to play for my normal save.
I've decided in Death Stranding I want to build as much road out as possible, and have taken to raiding MULE camps to get the supplies. The only issue is I'm out of chiral crystals, and need about 1700 to build up three road segments so far going into the next area, so I need to look into ways to grind for them, which is probably just going to be trying some boss fights or something, which should be trivial on Very Easy.
I cranked Skyrim up to Master because my character is too OP and it actually feels pretty good. I wouldn't start a save at this difficulty, but when I can one-shot almost anything with a beefed up steel sword and my armor is at the armor cap, it made the game fun again. I may just go for Dawnguard with this character to see how it plays.
Another one of those weeks where I shake something off of my wishlist: STRAFE: Gold Edition, it was on sale with the Devolver Digital sale.
I almost don't like how the name looks like Strife, but it's a superficial thing. If you've ever thought "Gee, a randomized Doom would be fun," this is a step in that direction. Yeah, it's 3D with an aesthetic like a fully pixelized Quake, but it plays more like Doom with jumping, mouselook and 3d models. No bhop, it's a bit slower paced, and constant movement is key, from the two levels I've played.
Took my 75GB back from Lost Ark and finally uninstalled it along with Elite Dangerous. The latter might be good, but the stock control scheme sucks and I'm in no mood to modify it at the moment, I'm relatively sure I'll revisit it at some point.
Took a trip down my Steam library-of-unplayed-games while still in a space-y mood and saw Fractured Space on my list, clicking on the store page just routed me back to the Steam homepage though. Quick google says the game shut down in 2019 in the first result, second result is how to play the game after it shut down. Find a Discord of dedicated players with a modified launcher that unlocks everything and connects to private servers. So I've been playing the solo missions in that to "get gud" before jumping into/embarrassing myself in the multi-player matches. After half a dozen tries, I've finally won the first solo mission. It's a largely enjoyable ass kicking of massive ship space battles that largely amounts to close quarter naval battles in three dimensions.
I’ve been playing RuneScape 3 a lot lately. It’s not the same as back in the day but I love Ironman mode.
I also redownloaded Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) and bought the Leonardo MD-82 that came out. It might make me get back into flight simming after a few months away.
I've just finished 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim for Switch. Enjoyed it. A lot more than I thought I would. It's heavily story-based which I like in videogames and is extremely hard to recommend without spoiling anything. If you're a fan of whodunnits or scifi, might be your thing. Visually it's gorgeous but gameplay-wise, its not for everyone.
All week, the fun I had and all the feelings after finishing it have been jostling in my brain but no one I know has played it. I therefore gifted it to a good friend who seems like they'd enjoy it but I don't know if they'll like it in the end. I'm looking forward to playing it again once I get the time. Kind of wish I could erase my mind and play it blind - maybe in a decade or so...
I've been playing The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles.
I've finished part 1 and was quite disappointed. The circumstances felt too forced. I don't know, I haven't played Ace Attorney games in a long time, maybe it has always been this way?
Hopefully the second part is much better.
I've been playing snatches of Vermintide 2 between coursework, and have thoroughly enjoyed the catharsis inherent in splattering and chopping hordes of ratmen and chaos cultists. Shame the game doesn't perform as well as it probably should, but then it was made with a proprietary engine that didn't sell well enough, so the support for it stopped in 2018 and it's not the easiest to tweak. Anyway, setting things on fire as Sienna is great fun, because it actually helps the performance when a big crowd of enemies is being reduced to a crisp and then disappeared rather than erupting in a tangled explosion of raining limbs and gore about 10 metres wide.
Plus they say things like, "Ree, ree! My skin! REEEE!", which is just hilarious.